Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2—What Is The Difference?

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Spectra breast pumps are among the most popular on the market as they are powerful and reliable when it comes to helping moms express milk effectively.

Both the Spectra S1 and the Spectra S2 are very similar with the main difference being the S1 has a rechargeable battery built into the pump so it is fully portable.

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If you have been advised to try the Spectra breast pump for expressing milk then we take a look at the pros and cons of doing so and tell you all you need to know about the most common models of Spectra—the S1 and the S2.

Why Choose a Spectra Breast Pump?

Spectra is fast becoming a well-known brand due to its reliable performance and innovative ideas when it comes to breast pump development.

The main features of Spectra breast pumps are:

  • They have hospital grade vacuum levels due to powerful motors
  • They have an impressive suction strength of 270mmHg.
  • They are closed-system pumps
  • They pump milk quickly 
  • They can be used as a single or a double pump 
  • You can adjust the speed of the pump and alter the rhythm  
  • You can set the pump to your desirable sequence and save it for each time you pump
  • It is quieter for a lot of models so it is great for night time pumping
  • A lighter model of a breast pump
  • The S1 has a battery and can be used anywhere
  • They look modern and stylish
  • BPA-free

Spectra pumps are more expensive than some personal breast pumps but the high performance and reliability make up for the extra cost. Whatever model you choose you will be saving money compared to buying a full hospital-grade breast pump.

If you have established a good milk supply and you do not need any extra support then the Spectra will do just as good a job as any hospital-grade breast pump. 

Choosing Between the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2

If you have decided that Spectra is the brand of breast pump for you, it will come down to your individual needs as to whether you buy the Spectra S1 or the Spectra S2.

We take a look at both models to help you make your decision.

When it comes to choosing the right breast pump for you there are 5 main factors to consider, even if you are not looking at Spectra specifically. 

  • Productivity 
  • Mobility 
  • Noise levels
  • Comfort 
  • Price

Both the S1 and the S2 models tick all of the boxes apart from the S2 does not have a battery so is less mobile. The S2, however, does with slightly less than the S1 and can easily be moved from room to room and to the car if you are going on vacation or visiting family, for example.

Productivity wise you can rely on both models of Spectra to stimulate the breast, help you let down quickly, and go on to pump effectively. If you are a mom in a rush then this brand will not let you down. 

In terms of comfort, users of both Spectra models offer positive feedback and say that the flanges and valves offer good comfort levels and fit perfectly with their bras.

Both models are very quiet and there is even a mute function so that your baby is not disturbed if you end up expressing at night or during nap time.

When it comes to the cost of the S1 and the S2, the S1 is naturally more expensive as it has full mobility. 

Spectra S1 is good for moms looking for:

  • The ability to pump on a regular basis
  • Double pumping
  • The ability to pump while out and about (you can take to someone else house or even pump in the car)
  • Being able to pump at work when they return 
  • A cordless experience so that you can get on with other jobs while pumping 

Other key features of the Spectra S1 are:

  • LCD Display
  • Timer
  • Tubing x 2
  • Duckbill valves x2
  • Backflow valve x 2
  • Wide neck bottles x 2
  • A battery that runs for 3 hours at a time
  • Comfortable flanges that fit well into pumping bras

Spectra S2 is good for moms looking for:

  • Need a high-powered vacuum but do not need to transport your pump
  • Pump at home only
  • A plug in breast pump rather than battery operated
  • A less expensive hospital grade breast pump
  • Not having to worry about the battery running out

Other key features of the Spectra S2 are:

  • Night light 
  • Timer
  • PCD display
  • A quiet motor
  • Tubing x 2
  • Duckbill valves x 2
  • Back flow protector
  • Single and double pump options
  • Comfortable flanges that fit well into pumping bras

Both models of Spectra compare well to hospital-grade breast pumps like models of Medela and the Ameda. For many, the upgrade to the Spectra S1 is well worth the additional cost as the battery is invaluable and offers greater freedom when expressing milk.

This is especially the case for moms with low milk supply who have potentially tied a breast pump for a longer period of time. 

Spectra Modes

Massage Mode

You can choose between expression mode and massage mode, which is one of the main reasons people choose a Spectra model. The ability to personalize your pumping session is very good for moms.

The massage mode is used to help stimulate milk flow and begin the letdown process. When in this mode, the pump mimics your baby sucking so feels very natural and most like actually breastfeeding. 

Express Mode

As you move on from the massage mode you will enter an express mode in which the suction feels deeper and will replicate the nursing process in which your baby begins to drink the milk. The milk will slowly start to transfer the milk from the shield of the pump into the collection bottle and will soon speed up and fill your bottle quickly.

If at any stage you feel like expression mode is too intense you can easily switch back to massage mode and then switch back when you are ready for things to speed up again.

No matter what mode you are on, both models of Spectra are very quiet which makes for a happier baby, if they are in the room with you while you are expressing, and a happy mom.

Feedback from some moms is that this feature makes them feel more at ease when expressing as a loud pump can draw attention, especially if moms are returning to their workplace. 

Both the S1 and S2 are compatible with standard breast pump nursing bras and are both comfortable to use according to the feedback of thousands of women. 

Key Difference between S1 and S2 breast pumps are:

  • The S1 has a battery and the S2 needs to be plugged into the mains
  • The weight of the S1 is heavier (at 1.1kg rather than 900g) but it is still easy to move around
  • The S1 is more expensive, mainly due to the battery feature
  • The S1 comes in blue and the S2 is pink, which may mean that some moms prefer one more than the other depending on the sex of their baby

You will need to speak to your insurance provider to find out whether or not you are eligible for a Spectra S1 or a Spectra S2 pump. It may be that you need to supplement the breast pump as it is more expensive than some models or there could be an option to rent.

You can also lookup getting support from a lactation consultant as to what model of Spectra is best for you and your baby. 

How do the S1 and S2 compare to other Breast Pumps?

While they are only new to the breast pump market, Spectra has quickly gained a loyal following of moms who love how they perform. The Spectra is most like a Medela in relation to motor performance and ability to express milk quickly.

It is light like most Medela models and both models are easy to clean. You can expect to pay around $60-80 less for a Spectra S1 or S2, which is another main reason why many moms are turning to this brand. 

As you will have read, both the S1 and the S2 are great choices when it comes to hospital-grade breast pumps at a reasonable price. Both models have excellent features and will help moms express milk quickly and effectively, even if they have supply problems.

If you do not mind pumping in one place then the S2 does everything else you need it to, however, if you prefer to be able to transport your pump from place to place then you should invest in the S1.

Spectra fans will also recommend the latest Spectra model, the Spectra Synergy Gold which has many advanced features but does cost more money.